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All the way from cauliflower steaks to cauliflower pizza

Things have been a little quiet on the blog, as I've been away ill. Not one of those couple-of-tissues-in-your-pocket, still-well-enough-to-go-to-work-and-sneeze-on-your-colleagues type things. Oh no, a proper full-on, I-can't-get-out-of-bed-and-nothing-in-my-brain-works one. I wasn't happy. Or well. I recovered just in time to be able to finish off a 4,000 word essay that was looming. It wasn't, in short, a great couple of weeks. 

So, this is a post to reassure you I'm still around, if not blow you away with a stunning piece of culinary content.

May in introduce you to the omelette quattro stagioni? It was my brilliant ideas for using up the scraps of veggies that were cluttering up the fridge - it's got a couple of asparagus spears, a few beetroot slices, half a tomato, and some carrot scraps, shaved into wafer thin slices (you don't get enough Monty Python references on this blog, do you?)

The omelette base was a mix of chickpea flour and some tofu blended together, which gave a nice custardy texture, but was rather on the bland side. Any suggestions for flavourings? Maybe a bit of mustard and miso or something?

Next, onto a festival of cauliflower. No, don't go, hold on, it's good, I promise you - I didn't cook it! I have roundly praised the vegan pizzas at 400 Rabbits more than once, mainly because a) they've not tried to fob herbivore off with a margharita with no cheese, or something equally grim b) and their pizzas are really, really good. 

Every month, 400 Rabbits have a new special or two, and every so often they're vegan. After a collab with Greedy Khao recently, 400 Rabbits has got Chantelle Nicholson on board - the chef known for levelling up the vegan options at Marcus Wareing's Tredwell.

Her pizza collaboration is very cauliflowery - cauli puree and cauli florets. Along with all that, there's cherry tomatoes, zhoug and lemon yoghurt. It's a non-traditional and completely delicious pizza.

And after that symphony in cruciferous, I decided to get creative with cauliflower at home. I'm only a beginner with cauliflower steaks (you can see pretty much my only successful recipe here), but I'm a sucker for if at first you don't succeed, make, make, make more cauliflower steaks again. Think that's how the saying goes. Anyway.)

I thought I'd experiment with a sort of cauliflower florentine-gratin thing: a mix of chard, cheesy sauce, with some breadcrumbs on top. It was actually pretty decent, and I made the same thing again the next day. 

The undercooked harissa quinoa that I served with it? Umm, maybe back to the drawing board on that one.

If you're reading this from England, you'll know that the weather has gone slightly off-kilter recently. I'm writing this from the middle of an impressive thunderstorm, and 24 hours earlier it was 28 degrees of beautiful sunshine, and I was sitting outside enjoying a brilliant blue sky. And it wasn't the first day like that: the last few weeks have had more than their fair share of sunny days. It's been starting to feel like summer (just ignore the thunderstorms and torrential rain, and leave me to my self-delusion!) 

And when I can successfully delude myself into thinking the good weather is here, I feel like I should make some appropriate food: lots of little dishes you can dig into. I'd call it tapas or mezze, but it might sound a little grander than it was.

The falafel was made with a packet mix (I can't make decent falafel to save my life), and so were ridiculously salty, but the rest of it was respectable. Then there was broccoli and tahini mash, a recipe that I got from my month of cooking with Bowls of Goodness and which has been on regular rotation ever since. Then there was fava beans, spicy roast potatoes, ajvar, and some green for good measure.

There was even good weather! Maybe if I make it again, I can charm the sun back? If that's what it takes, I'm prepared to make falafel every day from now on.

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  1. At this rate, I think that all things will be made from cauliflower by this time next year. Not entirely complaining since I do love the stuff, but it's rather strange an amusing all at once.

    Glad you're feeling well enough to post again!

  2. I would love to be offered a plate like the one in your last photo. About the cauliflower — I bought a giant bag of frozen riced cauliflower that I intended to use creatively. Ha. All I've done with it so far is sprinkle it over my dog's kibble to encourage her appetite. Cauliflower pizza? Maybe I'll try that.

    1. Really sorry you were so sick, but glad you're feeling better! Hope you have more good weather ahead to enjoy.

  3. sorry to hear you were unwell - sounds like an impressive achievement to get your assignment in after that. I do a regular tofu besan omelette with lots of nooch, black salt, mirin and salt (it's on my blog in favourites). I love how you present yours. And I love your plate of vegies at the end - looks like a great summoning of summer and celebration of being back on your feet again.

  4. I'm sorry to hear you were so unwell. I hope you're making up for lost time and not just through essay writing.

    I love a bit of cauliflower and this is an excellent round up of diverse dishes! I will have to seek out the pizza. I recently tried the new vegan cauliflower base pizza sold in Sainsbury's and recommend that too!

  5. Glad to see you're all better now and making some very yummy looking food! :-) I've been cooking a lot with curry powder lately, maybe that would work in the omelette?


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